There's somethin' special about these Cards
You would think that by now I would have learned not to give up on this team. Yet, there I sat, thinking the worse, all but giving up on my beloved Cards as they stumbled and fumbled through 30 minutes of frustrating basketball on the road at Tennessee.
Down by double digits midway through the second half, and showing very few signs of turning things around, I was already wondering to myself how far they would drop in the poles. Losing a non-conference game on the road against an SEC team isn't so bad. The winning streak had to end somewhere. These were just some of the thoughts that were running through my head.
Then, like clockwork, fatigue started to grab hold of the UT players and the Cards started making plays. This is Pitino ball, in its purest form. Keep up the defensive intensity and keep playing hard, no matter if you're up by 20 or down by 20. I'll admit, I could learn a thing or two from the players.
The shots may not always fall, and the calls may not always go their way, but these guys never give up. They play with great emotion and an obvious affection for each other. They simply refuse to let each other down. Pitino has taught these guys how to be winners, and at the same time has taught me how to be a better fan. I've learned that there is no deficit large enough to justify giving up on these guys.
I don't know what the future has in store for this team, but I do know there's something special about these Cards.
Bucs "D" best ever?
While watching the best defense in the NFL squeeze the life out of the NFL's best offense, something occurred to me. Could this be the best defense the NFL has ever seen?
I know some of you old timers are probably hyperventilating at the mere suggestion, but I think an argument can be made. When talking about the greatest defenses of all time people immediately want to talk about the Pittsburgh "Steel Curtain" or the 85 Bears, or even the Baltimore Ravens during their Super Bowl run a few years ago, and with good reason. These were all very dominant defenses.
I think what sets this Bucs defense apart from the rest is their ability to make big plays. When I think about the Steelers, Bears, or Ravens, I think about great hard nosed defenses that would dominate the line of scrimmage. The Bucs have the size on the line to dominate just like these teams did, but it doesn't stop there. They also have tremendous team speed.
These two qualities together are what provide opportunities for big plays and defensive touchdowns. The Bears and Steelers are two of the greatest ever, but after seeing these Bucs dominate three of the best offenses in the NFL (Niners, Eagles, Raiders) I'm convinced this is the best defense the NFL has ever seen.